Starting a new blog? Get your own domain name! Do NOT use a subdomain of typepad.com, wordpress.com, blogspot.com (etc)

So, you want to start a new blog. Maybe you don’t have much experience with blogging, so you don’t think it’s that big of a deal which platform you choose or whether you get your own domain name. Well think again.

Don’t fall trap to the disaster that I landed myself in, where I started casually blogging and ended up regularly blogging and hating the platform I was using but can’t easily switch because I stupidly put my blog on a subdomain of typepad (http://blogging.typepad.com)

Now I’m at TypePad’s mercy. They own my ass because they own my address – even though I’m paying $150+ a year for their service. The same could happen to you whether it’s a subdomain on typepad.com, blogspot.com, or wordpress.com.

By not having your own domain name, if you ever decide to move to another blogging platform you run the risk of losing all (or a lot) of your traffic, your search engine rankings, all of your hard earned incoming links, etc because you cannot take your URL with you.

How are you going to redirect your traffic to your new blog when you have NO ability to, say, set up a 301 Permanent Redirect? Which, for those who are wondering, would both:

  • automatically redirects human visitors to your new blog site
  • tells the search engines that your blog has permanently moved and gives it the new location

(BTW – has any TypePad user whose blog address was a subdomain had a high traffic blog with a lot of backlinks into it that they then moved to a WordPress blog hosted on their own server? Please tell me what your experience was, whether you lost pagerank, traffic, search engine rankings, etc!!!)

Domain names are cheap – about $9 a year for a single one, as low as $6.75 a year if you own more than 50. There is NO excuse to not have your own domain name for your blog. You will regret if at some point down the road if you don’t start out with your own domain name.

GoDaddy is the site that I use to register my domain names, although there are numerous other options and a big sale now at 1&1: .com domain for only $0.99 or get it FREE with a Hosting Package! Starting a new blog?  Get your own domain name!  Do NOT use a subdomain of typepad.com, wordpress.com, blogspot.com (etc).

The irony here is that I actually own a lot of domain names and I genuinely can’t fathom why I didn’t just use a domain of my own when I started this blog. Don’t make the same mistake as me or you could end up feeling trapped like I do right now. Consider yourselves warned.

UPDATE: Just to clarify, my point is that you need to own your own domain name so the URL for your blog points to a domain you own and control. It’s okay to use a subdomain off a domain that you own, but not one that belongs to someone else such as that of a hosted service like typepad.com.

And it’s okay to use a hosted solution – just make sure you pick one (like typepad.com or blogger.com) that allows you to use your own domain name (and always reference your blog’s URL w/your own domain) so that if you ever decide you want to go elsewhere, at least you’ll be able to take your traffic with you. And it’s also a good idea to check to see if whatever blogging platform you start with has the ability to export your posts (and comments/trackbacks) for easiest porting of your site to another platform…

26 thoughts on “Starting a new blog? Get your own domain name! Do NOT use a subdomain of typepad.com, wordpress.com, blogspot.com (etc)

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  3. It’s probably just as important to mention that you’ll want to make sure, for the same reasons, that you use a tool that supports exporting your posts. Even if you have your own domain name, if you can’t get access your posts and do something useful with them, you’re going to be stuck.

  4. hello
    Very interesting
    I have a blog at typepad plat form with a sub domain but have also on my own some domain names.
    If i use one of my domain name for my blog, i reveale, disclose it, is there a risk that someone exploit this mark, brand for his own web site, for instance a merchant web site ?
    thank you

  5. Hi, Emily. This is excellent advice. Looking at it from the other perspective, when I set up my latest blog/podcast, I considered services like typepad and blogspot. It was appealing to be able to start it without the setup hassles. But I couldn’t map these services to my own domain. So I went through the trouble of installing WordPress. It was the right decision. It was especially the right decision for me, since I can customize my own site (through plug-ins, complementary applications and PHP code) to an extent the turnkey services would not have supported.

    On the other hand, I also have a LiveJournal, which is a personal blog. Using a service like LiveJournal does have an advantage in that you become part of a larger peer network. LiveJournal friends and friends-of-friends and so forth. (Do blogspot and typepad offer similar features?)

    -TimK

  6. Ya they just hit me for 150.00 and I have been having some problems with their support.Just minor stuff but it seems they are having problems but don’t know how to solve them.They do answer my support tickets but nothing seems to get resolved especially when the problem is in there servers.I also notice that my other blogs get a whole lot more traffic the the type pad one that I paid 150.00 bucks for.

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  8. Hi Emily,
    I am totally confused and hope you can give me some help. I have my blog set up with blogware with my own domain name. I have no idea if I made a wise choice or not. I knew nothing about blogging programs so I chose to get it through domain direct. I paid $100. (I think) for a year. Am I stuck with them or would I be able to move my domain elsewhere?

    I have several questions that I’d like to ask but I don’t see a place on your site to ask questions… do you offer that help? Or can you suggest a blogging forum to me?

    May I ask one more question in here, please? Do search engines read the Blogrolling program?

    I can give you my url so you can take a look to see if I have set it up right with blogware but please be advised that it is an adult blog so I don’t want it to offend you or anyone else that does not want to go into it. http://www.wetalksexblog.com

    Thank you Emily for any help that you can offer me.

    Donna

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  10. Hi EMily,
    I found you while searching for online help with Hello from Picassa. I have been very happy with it; however for the past 3 days it does not post my pictures to my blog.
    Any ideas and or suggestions???
    Namaste,
    MB

  11. I have two Typepad blogs with mapped domains. One started out as a Typepad subdomain (so folks will have a bunch of those links bookmarked), but I did the other with my domain name right from the beginning. Works fine, I’ve developed many hacks to get around some of Typepad’s style issues (I only have a Plus account), tastes great, less filling.

  12. If you can afford to buy a name, do it. I have actualy bought numerous names, though some of the names I have really never used, but they are mine if I ever wanted to put them into play.

    Just for your interest, I use WordPress. I really enjoy the easy setup and interface. I can literally install a working version in a matter of minutes on a new site.

    Thanks Emily for the post.

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  15. Emily,

    The only thing I like about using a subdomain is when used with a proper keyword, for example, say you are blogging about a “marketing plan”, using that word in your subdomain helps you rank high in search engines well because those subdomains are of from the authority websites rather than an individual websites.

    My friend has “mini sites” he creates for many different niches, and he seems to always rank those high fast with especially MSN Search when after only blogging for like a few weeks and get a few back links pointed at him.

    I wonder what your thoughts on it from SEO point of view.

  16. It definately makes sense to buy a new domain for every new blog you make. In response to Takuya, I think a network of mini sites would work alot better for SEO purposes, particularly with google in mind. You can always link to your new blog from your other ‘authority’ site and this will improve the rating of your new site accordingly.

  17. Hello Emily,

    I’m looking into getting my own domain for my blog and was looking into GoDaddy and the prices seem reasonable. I’ve never used a hosting service before, and I wonder how to set one up for a WordPress blog. In reading your blog here about obtaining a domain, I’m all geared up to do it, but… how?

    Any help you can offer me would be wonderful.

    Thanks,

    Thomas

  18. I think somebody said it earlier, but let me say it again. Not everyone earns in dollars and so it’s preferable to use someone’s else domain name, especially for a personal non-commercial blog.
    I switched from Blogger to WordPress easily. I simply imported the content. I also left a last post on Blogger mentioning that my blog address had changed. Those who want to come, will come.
    Frankly, as I am a small blogger there was no heart-burning where the other stuff was concerned, like ranking etc.

  19. Why has no one even mentioned how to link your blog up to your domain name once you’ve bought the domain??? I have Homestead and they won’t tell me how to put a blog on my site!

  20. hi, man i think there is a problem with submitting comments any way thats a great post.. jus weeks before i transfered my blog under wordpress to tucktail.now i have lots of freedom and lots of tools to tweak and design my site according to my prerogative.

  21. That is very interesting reading Emily, thankfully I’ve recently made the step up to self hosted – it seems really scary to a newbie but to be honest is very straightforward if you find a decent host.

    Thanks for that
    Cloody

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